9 reasons to shed some light on your sex life.

Somehow you don’t totally botch picking up a sexy stranger in a bar, and the two of you go back to your place. You’re showing her your intellectual, queer book collection (conveniently located in your room, of course) when suddenly your brainy hotness magnetizes your new friend’s mouth to your mouth—you’re seriously making out.

It becomes clear that things are about to get freaky deaky, so you do like all movies have taught you to do: you hit the lights. Now you can’t find her jeans zipper. You attempt to nibble her ear but it’s actually her eye. You knock over a million things trying to locate the lube.

Your flawless swag really hit the skids when you killed those lights, huh?

Stop having sex with the lights off. You don’t need to be bathed in dentist office florescents, but at the very least, I expect a mood-lit way of seeing the person I’m getting sexy with.

Why? Because sex with the lights on is simply hotter, safer and better.

Here are nine reasons:

1. If you’ve ever attempted putting together a puzzle in the pitch-dark—c’mon, why would you? Figuring out what makes a new (or old) partner hum requires putting together a lot of unfamiliar pieces, which would be so much easier and enjoyable if you allowed yourself the use of all five senses.

2. I can barely tie my own shoe in the dark, and you’re asking me to kneel down and “tie” your “shoe” with my tongue in total blackness?

3. If you’re into any kind of rough play, you want a clear view of where you’re slapping/biting/kicking/flogging.

4. Putting on a condom or positioning a dental dam in the dark increases your risk of doing it wrong and, therefore, of exposing yourself to STDs or pregnancy.

5. Few people intentionally turn off their laptop screen just to listen to their porn. You watch porn for a reason. We’re visually stimulated beings and seeing your sweetie’s O-face is a turn-on.

6. It’s kind of awkward to lick someone’s butthole if you actually meant to lick their vagina.

7. If you’re into the whole “love-making” thing, eye contact during sex really ramps up the intimacy. If the eyes are the window to my soul, the vagina is definitely the window to my orgasm. Put the two together and—blamo!—you’ve got the basic structure of a well-built pleasure palace.

8. Not only is it hot to watch your partner in the throes of passion, it’s also sexylicious to be seen—and this is true whether you’re the “doer” or being “done.” Sex can be a showy affair. What’s the point of putting on a good performance without an audience?

9. Female sexual modesty is so-o-o-o-o overrated. If you’re getting down and dirty in the dark because a jumble of sweaty body parts trying to fit together feels genuinely pleasurable to you, then cool.

But if you’re doing it out of fear, shame or because you think it isn’t dainty or something, then it’s time for you to shed some light on your sexual situation. If you don’t want your partner to look at you, you can’t be very comfortable having her touch you or giving her direction—essential components of hot, safe, satisfying sex.

Many people hit the lights because they don’t want their partners to see them… well, at least not sweaty, contorted and from “that” angle. If you’ve ever made the mistake of making a home sex tape, you’ve figured out that layman sex just doesn’t look as good as you might think.

Those hot, queer porn stars we all know and love are professionals—they make sex visually appealing for a living. But here, off camera, the best kind of sex is authentic sex, which feels great but isn’t always pretty.

Authentic sex can require some bravery—it’s challenging to be vulnerable about what makes us feel good, things we want to try out and allowing our partners (and sometimes ourselves) to see all this happen.

But in my experience, being brave in the sack always pays off. So turn ‘em on, get turned on, stay turned on, and may you never mistake the massage oil for lube again.